Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok during a press conference April 25, 2019. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
SINGAPORE, May 2 — Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok has urged exporters to take advantage of the seven-month-long extension of the export duty exemption on crude palm oil (cpo) from May 1, 2019.
Kok said the tax-free window period would enable the industry to plan more carefully on how to raise exports and open new markets for Malaysia’s palm oil.
“The exemption is given even though the cpo price hits RM2,250 per metric tonne and above, the level when the duty is applicable,” she said in a statement here today.
She said her ministry is very concerned about the industry’s current situation with the palm oil stock level at 2.92 million tonnes on March 31, 2019 and the cpo price on April 26, 2019 at RM2,014.50 per tonne.
“In such a situation, pro-active measures should be taken to enhance the palm oil industry’s competitiveness,” she said.
The ministry also hopes the zero-duty CPO export scheme could lower the palm oil stock level and increase the nation’s CPO prices, she said.
“These measures would help the palm oil industry including smallholders nationwide,” she said, adding the ministry would also continue to monitor the stock level to ensure there is enough supply to meet the needs of the country’s downstream palm oil industry.
Meanwhile, speaking to Bernama on the sidelines of the sixth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources here today, Kok said: “This is something that the government has to help the industry in that manner. If the price is low, the palm oil stock is high and the government doesn't get anything too.”
She was asked how much tax revenue that the government has to forego by placing the tax-free exemption on the export duty of the commodity until December 31, 2019.
Kok earlier delivered her keynote address on “Connecting Markets, Forging Consensus: Partnerships for Sustainable Palm Oil.” — Bernama